When have you found it difficult to forgive another person? Describe what you experienced.
Read: Matthew 5:38-48
What do you find most difficult about Jesus’ instructions in these verses?
Jesus’ “eye for an eye” quote refers to Exodus 21:24. How would this instruction to those who were judges in Israel clarify the meaning of justice? How would this instruction as a consequence then limit the extent of revenge?
It appears that the Pharisees extended this principle from the courts of law (where it was to belong) to the realm of personal relationships (where it did not belong). What consequences might have resulted?
Have another look at v.39-42. How would you contrast our natural responses in such situations with the responses Jesus expects of us?
What do you feel is accomplished by turning the other cheek or going a second mile? In what situations might Christ’s commands apply today?
Consider v.44-45 again. According to Jesus, how are we to treat our enemies and why?
In what ways is Jesus’ command extraordinary (v.46-48)?
Does this teaching in any way mean that Christians are to be convenient doormats for the world to walk on? Explain your answer.
How was Jesus Himself an example of the principles “Do not resist an evil person” and “Love your enemies”? How can you reflect your Heavenly Father’s character when you are mistreated?
What has God’s Spirit been saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?